CUNA Advocacy Update

Metsger Signals Extended Exam Cycle: It appears that a win on extended exam cycle might be closer than we thought.  In a speech to the Idaho Credit Union League, Chairman Metsger stated that he is initiating a review of the agency’s examination process, including the frequency of examinations, and will form a working group to bring all stakeholders into that effort.

“To begin this process,” Metsger said, “we must first remove the requirement that every federal credit union, and all federally insured, state-chartered credit unions with more than $250 million in assets, be examined each calendar year. This prescriptive requirement creates a logjam of exams at the end of each year, which is neither effective nor efficient.”

Metsger said the goal is to remove the annual exam requirement within the next two months. What this means is that the NCUA will be moving forward on the process to implement an extended exam cycle for credit unions. [More]

This Week on the Hill:  Congress is diving head first into the year’s must-pass legislation, with the National Defense Authorization Act and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act on tap in the House.  The Senate is expected to consider H.R.2577, an FY17 Appropriations bill that combines both the Committee-reported Transportation-Housing funding bill (S. 2844) and the Committee-reported Military Construction-Veterans funding legislation (S. 4974). 

As usual, we are following several hearings on both sides of the Capitol, including the following:

Tuesday

  • The Senate Finance Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “Integrating the Corporate and Individual Tax Systems: The Dividends Paid Deduction Considered.”
  • The House Financial Services Committee Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Interest on Reserves and the Fed’s Balance Sheet.”
  • The House Financial Services Committee Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Legislative Proposals to Enhance Capital Formation, Transparency, and Regulatory Accountability,” including consideration of the “SEC Regulatory Accountability Act”; the “Investment Advisers Modernization Act of 2016”; and the “Proxy Advisory Firm Reform Act of 2016.”

Wednesday

  • The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a full committee hearing on “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) at 25: Effects on Consumers and Business.”  CUNA requested this hearing in September, and we will be submitting a statement for the record of this hearing.
  • The House Financial Services Committee Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Examining the CFPB’s Proposed Rulemaking on Arbitration: Is it in the Public Interest and for the Protection of Consumers.” CUNA has expressed concerns about the CFPB’s proposal and will be submitting a statement for the record of this hearing.

Thursday

  • The House Financial Services Committee Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Settling the Question: Did Bank Settlement Agreements Subvert Congressional Appropriations Powers?”
  • The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee Securities, Insurance, and Investment Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “Improving Communities and Businesses Access to Capital and Economic Development.” CUNA has a strong record of advocating for expanded access to capital for small businesses, including legislation to increase the credit union member business lending cap, and we will be submitting a statement for the record of this hearing.

NCUA Board Meets Thursday: For the first time since former NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz’s departure, the NCUA Board will meet this week. The agenda is light but important. The Board will receive its quarterly update on the corporate credit union stabilization and a board briefing on call report modernization.

FCC Implements Budget Act but Continues to Provide Minimal TCPA Relief: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) implementing the Budget Act of 2015 for the collection of debts owed to or guaranteed by the federal government. We previously wrote about details of a draft NPRM detailed in letters responding to federal lawmakers, who oppose the new exemption for government debt collectors. The Budget Act created exemptions for mandating prior express consent for calls made to cell phones when collecting a debt owed to, or guaranteed by, the federal government. However, the FCC’s recently released NPRM takes an extremely narrow reading of the Budget Act, and stringent conditions must be met to qualify for the exemption. [More]

Pending Regulatory Comment Calls: CUNA intends to comment on the following pending regulatory proposals. For our comment letter to have the greatest impact, we need to hear from you. Please consider whether and how these proposals would affect your credit union, and contact the CUNA staff listed with each proposal with your feedback 

We encourage Leagues and credit unions to use PowerComment to file comment letters with regulators. For more information regarding these proposals, please follow the links below:

Issue Comment Period Deadline

Agency

CUNA Staff Contact
Amendments to Servicing Rules under TILA/RESPA May 26. 2016 CFPB Andy Price
Exemptions from TCPA for Government Debts June 6, 2016 FCC Leah Dempsey
Student Loan Borrower Communications June 12, 2016 CFPB Luke Martone
NCUA Occupancy Rule June 27, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Uniform Interagency Consumer Compliance Rating System July 5, 2016 FFIRC Andy Price
Joint Incentive Based Compensation Rule July 22, 2016 NCUA Lance Noggle
Arbitration Clauses TBD CFPB Leah Dempsey

In the States… This week 19 states are scheduled to be in session. The Heartland Credit Union Association advanced prize-linked savings legislation in both Kansas and Missouri and the Iowa Credit Union League successfully championed a TNC bill requiring lienholder notification. The Louisiana Credit Union League removed a burdensome affidavit requirement for credit union members to name beneficiaries and the Mountain West Credit Union Association has nearly secured legislation authorizing new powers for Arizona credit unions including director compensation and prize-linked savings.

*BARRIER REMOVED* Personal Guarantee No Longer Required on MBLs: Credit unions can make member business loans without requiring a personal guarantee, in certain circumstances. This change is the first part of the NCUA’s recently finalized member business lending (MBL) rule, the rest of which will become effective Jan. 1, 2017. [More]

Over on the Removing Barriers Blog FinCEN finalizes Customer Due Diligence Rule… Electronic Payments Coalition (EPC) sends letter in support of Data Security Act…CUNA meets with the CFPB to discuss Debt Collection… CUNA sends letter to Senate Small Business Committee supporting the hearing on the DOL Overtime Rule… National Small Business Week presents many opportunities for credit union advocacy…

And, finally… An article in BNA last week suggests that Senate Democrats are laying the building blocks for tackling tax reform in 2017. While some might suggest they might be prematurely measuring the curtains, the movement on tax reform in recent months is hard to ignore with numerous hearings on both sides of the Capitol. We continue to be vigilant in our advocacy for the credit union tax status, having recently met with key leaders on the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the staff at the Joint Committee on Taxation.

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